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Rick Santorum on CNN departure: ‘You get savaged for telling the truth’

Former Republican senator and TV analyst Rick Santorum addressed his departure from CNN on “Hannity” Monday, after the left-leaning network fired him over past comments about Native American culture.

“You get savaged for telling the truth,” Santorum said in his first public interview since he ousted from the network.

The Republican political commentator was given the boot after an April 23 speech resurfaced where he told a young conservative crowd that immigrants had created a nation “from nothing” based on Judeo-Christian values.

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“We birthed a nation from nothing,” he said. “Yes, there were Native Americans, but there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”

Santorum later clarified on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time”  that he “misspoke” and argued that he was speaking in the context of the founding of the United States government. Native Americans “had a huge impact, particularly in the west and many of the areas of our country where they have had a huge impact on American culture,” he said at the time.

On “Hannity” Monday night, Santorum appeared to stand by his initial remarks.

“What I said was not at all disparaging towards Native Americans, what I was talking about is the founding of the United States of America and that Native Americans did not have a role in the founding of our country,” the outspoken Republican said.

“Now you can say that’s a bad thing or a good thing or the way we treated Native Americans was bad, but I was giving a talk to a group of young people talking about the founding principles of religious liberty and how important it was to the immigrants who came here to found this country. And that was an important value that was envied into our Constitution.”

Santorum believes he was disciplined for “telling the truth.”

“I told the truth here and you have other people who believe you know, Don Lemon came on right after my interview and said that Native Americans founded the United States of America. And again, you are entitled to your opinion, but not the facts, and that’s where I think we have gotten off-kilter here a little bit in America.”

Santorum said the experience exposes the extent of the left’s intolerance and CNN’s toxic embrace of a cancel culture mentality.

“CNN has a right to fire me if they don’t like what I’m saying or what they are doing,” he said. “I have no animus, I appreciate the opportunity that they gave me, but it shows that the left is intolerant. They are worried, I’m sure that their viewership which is very left was going to pay a price. And the intolerance of the left is the issue in the cancel culture that is flowing from it. And I hear from a lot of liberals in fact many CNN contributors who talked to me afterward who were very, very concerned about the cancel culture that is now hitting them at CNN.”

Santorum said CNN President Jeff Zucker has not contacted him personally about his departure.

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” I have not talked to Jeff,” he said.

“There has been a lot of pressure from outside, there has been an effort, I was at CNN for four and a half years and you know, literally from the time that I started there were groups out there calling for me to be fired, so in some respects, I give CNN credit for holding on for and a half years in spite of some of the things I have said defending President Trump and saying other things about what conservatives believe and they gave me the opportunity to say it,” Zucker explained.

“You know,” Hannity remarked, “there is an option for people if you don’t like what you are watching or listening to on the radio, if you don’t like what you are reading, you can turn it off. You don’t have to watch. You don’t have to listen.”

 

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